Student scholars lauded by Filipino community council

More than $9,000 in scholarship funds were distributed to high school seniors Sunday.

The event was hosted by the 2008 Kaua‘i Filipino Community Council and its affiliate organizations to recognize the achievements and celebrate the future of high school students.

Marisa Valenciano, a winner of three of the scholarships presented, was a valedictorian for Kaua‘i High School and spoke of the value of education she learned from both her grandparents and parents.

Valenciano was a recipient of scholarships presented by the Kaua‘i Filipino Women’s Club, the KFCC and the Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce.

She was joined by Jonathan Ganir, a graduate of Kapa‘a High School and a standout in its J.R.O.T.C. program. He also received scholarships from the KFWC, the KFCC and the Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce.

Ian Ramos, another Kapa‘a J.R.O.T.C. standout as well as captain of the Warriors’ air riflery team, was a recipient of the KFCC scholarship as well as the Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce scholarship.

Russell Cabral was the fourth recipient of a Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce scholarship.

Benedict Baris was recognized as the sole recipient of the Pangasinan Association of Kaua‘i scholarship by its president Arnulfo Diaz who recently retired from the G.N.Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Joining Valenciano and Ganir, Amanda Mayer, Mark Guirao, Alissa Nishihira and Christine Yotsuda, who was crowned the 2008 Miss Kaua‘i Filipina, were recipients of scholarships from the KFWC.

Valencian, Yotsuda, Ganir and Ramos were four of the eight KFCC scholarship recipients. Others included Aleisha Yamaoka, Diandra Melchor, Christine Sacro and Tyson Chihara who was unable to attend the event because he was competing at the age group state swimming championships for the Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics program.

Liza Trinidad, Mely Iloreta and Ely Afos head up the 2008 KFCC Scholarship Committee and said more students could benefit due to the increased efforts to generate scholarship funds.

One of these included the start of the Miss Kaua‘i Filipina Scholarship golf tournament which made its debut earlier this year at the Wailua Golf Course.

Charlmaine Bulosan, executive vice president for the KFCC, said the next item on its calendar is the state Miss Hawai‘i Filipina pageant scheduled for July 12.

Yotsuda is the 2008 Miss Kaua‘i Filipina and will be competing in that pageant. Mrs. Shandra Salud is the 2008 Mrs. Kaua‘i Filipina and will be representing Kaua‘i in that competition.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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